As the governments of both, Guyana and Suriname are strengthening their bilateral relationship, the Private Sector Commission (PSC) of Guyana and the Suriname Trade and Industry Association (VSB) also realize the importance of the involvement of the private sector as the engine for growth and development in both countries.

The PSC and the VSB established a Guyana-Suriname Private Sector Business Council, consisting of key representatives of the private sector, solely dedicated to the strengthening of economic ties and initiatives regarding our shared interests and the creation of the envisioned Single Market and Economy.

The establishment of this Business Council and its intentions were shared with president Chandrikapersad Santokhi on the 16th March 2022 through a courtesy visit by the newly established Council.

Paul Cheong, chairman of the PSC called this day a historic day for us. “The relationship with Suriname is necessary. There are many synergies that we can achieve” said Mr. Cheong.

“The private sector will find opportunities to collaborate in the various sectors, and the assistance of the Guyanese and Surinamese governments will help with the removal of all barriers for the realization of efficient bilateral trade. When we come next time, we will not come with a list of issues, but with a detailed strategy”, says VSB Chairman Bryan Renten. 

The VSB, through Mr. Renten, has indicated that it is fully committed to the entire private sector of Suriname, and will also involve other business organizations in the topics that are discussed and decision-making about those topics. “Suriname’s private sector believes that the cooperation between the two countries will lead to betterment for both nations”, concludes Mr. Renten. 

The Council had its first official council meeting on the 16th of March. Ambitious but necessary targets have been set and a meeting agenda for the next 12 months has also been set out. The next meeting is slated to be held in May 2022 in Guyana and will be bi-monthly thereafter. 

The Business Council will have joint leadership with VSB’s Chairman Mr. Bryan Renten being elected Chairman for the first six (6) months, after which the Chairmanship will be handed over to Mr. Paul Cheong for the next six  (6) months.

President Sanotkhi pleads for this relationship between Suriname and Guyana to be an example for the region. “We will show the region how it should be done. We don’t sit next to each other as competitors but as partners”, said the President. 

The  council consists of 10 members from the private sector of both countries. From the Surinamese side, the members are Bryan Renten,Patrick Healy, Derrick Klaverweide, Rishie Parbhudayal and  Farsi Khodabux. While from the Guyana side, the members are Paul Cheong, Norman Mc Lean, Ryan Alexander, Latoya Jack and Leekha Rambrich.

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